I would have to say that the most important thing I've learned is that (gasp) I can live without bread. There, I've said it. It's been viewed. That doesn't mean that I don't really, really miss bread. What I've also learned is that - so far - it's no problem to go without gluten-free bread. I have not met one piece, rendition, loaf, slice, crumb or otherwise of GF bread that I can choke down. Of course, I have just begun this journey so there is still hope that I may find a stand-in.
Another plus side to this (besides feeling better) is that I've lost weight. I was really surprised at how many things I ate that contained gluten. This means that the usual snack suspects were no longer on the Good To Eat List. I am not counting Cape Cod Potato Chips here because those have become an obsession. Those are on my Don't You Dare Eat List. The one meal where I feel the loss of gluten most of all is breakfast. Muffins, coffeecake, toast, scones, sigh.
So, as the saying goes around the farm, I just pulled on my Big Girl Pants and got creative. This has had some added benefits - I am using grains and flours I've never tried before; some I've never heard of. Sorghum flour? Wha? Guar gum? er... There is a wealth of information on the Internet at my fingertips and lots of others have paved the path towards tolerable - yes, even delicious - gluten-free food. My biggest excitement in the breakfast arena has been rediscovering a food of my childhood. Fried Mush. Oooh. Doesn't that just sound delish? I was born and raised my first few years in Newport News, Virginia. Both my parents had been in the Navy and my dad had finished his degree in mechanical engineering in Ohio. Looking for work, he ended up finding a job at the shipyards in Newport News. So, in my formative years, I was exposed to hush puppies, spoon bread, mush, and being referred to as "A Mess". That was a big compliment back then and down there - and, although I can still be referred to as a mess on many occasions, I continue to view it as a positive comment about myself.
Back to topic. My mother was and is a stellar cook. My dad was exclusively the Grill Man. But he also had some 'specialities d' Papa'. One was fudge and the other was fried mush. Basically, fried mush is plain speak for sauteed polenta. I prefer fried mush - it's not pretentious. It's a Mess. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. To make a mess of mush, one simply stirs cornmeal into boiling water with a little salt, stirs it until it's thick, lets it cook for a while, then takes it off the heat. A quick smear of butter in a loaf pan, pour in the mush, let it cool, then put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, slice and fry in butter until slightly crispy around the edges. Serve with maple syrup. MmmMmm. It goes wonderfully with a couple of eggs and bacon. Or just all by its lonesome in a small pool of real maple syrup. Mush has given me back Breakfast.